February 9, 1998
Low level jets already bother Saragosa
By GREG HARMAN
SARAGOSA, February 9, 1998 - You wake with a start to the
sound of your windows rattling and family photos clattering
against the walls in the hallway. You think to yourself, 'Is
this an earthquake? Another tornado?' as a loud rumble fades
into the distance. Quiet quickly replaces the nocturnal
clamor but your heart is still pounding.
This experience is not uncommon to many residents of the
Balmorhea/Saragosa area. Low-flying jets have often
disturbed their nights and their days.
Citizens from southern Reeves County gathered in the
Saragosa multi-purpose center Saturday evening by invitation
of Reeves County Commissioner Herman Tarin to express
concern over what effect the U.S. Air Force's
recently-proposed Realistic Bomber Training Initiative
(RBTI) may have on their lives and to speculate on what
change the initiative may represent to an already
Some present at the meeting complained that low-flying jets
are already disturbing their lives. "They fly right over our
house," said Balmorhea resident Carol Bagley. "They wake us
up in the middle of the night flying at a low range." Bagley
said that should the planes fly any closer to her house they
would probably break the windows, not just rattle them.
Though Commissioner Tarin adamantly refused to express his
personal feelings regarding the initiative, it was readily
apparent that most who attended the meeting had strong
reservations about the possibility of U.S. Air Force bombers
training over their houses at altitudes of two to three
One attendee charged to the front of the room, mistaking the
speaker for a representative of the Air Force, to challenge
that he was a "poor man" and to demand to know who would pay
for damages to his home due to the aircraft.
"I think it is my duty to inform the public on what may take
place in the area," Tarin told the crowd of about 25. "Some
of you may already know that B-1 and B-52 bombers may be
coming to train here. I think it is important that the
government and the Air Force listen to your concerns, and to
Tarin shared the information he had gathered from several
conversations with Air Force Lt. Col. Rick Freisen, of the
Second Bomb Wing in Barksdale, La., such as the initiative
means bombers flying 24 hours a day, six days a week, one
about every 45 minutes. Tarin said that each bomber would
emit 120 decibels, "like a loud rock concert." The one
positive to Tarin's findings was the possible creation of 25
jobs associated with the scoring sites.
Speaking of the Air Force, Tarin told the gathering, "If
this is approved they will be here to stay." But, he assured
those in attendance that "There is still time to do
something about it."
Pecos resident Clark Lindley, invited by Tarin to Saragosa,
brought materials to share that he had gathered at the Air
Force scoping meeting, held at the Pecos Community Center on
Feb. 3, and raised several questions about the environmental
impact the low-level training may pose to the community.
"In the long run, what will it do to people? What will the
fuel expelled do to the community?" asked Lindley. "What
effect will it have on livestock, and the desirability of
placing cattle in these areas? What happens to hunting?"
In response to these and other questions, representative of
the Trans-Pecos Protection Group Dr. Tony Sforza, a former
aeronautical engineer and Major in the U.S. Army Medical
Corp., stood and addressed the meeting by declaring that the
proposed flights posed very definite health risks to
residents of the area and recommended that the Air Force
follow the Army's example by securing and training in a
national training site where no civilians would be affected.
Sforza said that the Trans-Pecos area "appeared to be
becoming the new national training base" for military
aircraft. "They have chosen this area," Sforza said, "not
because of the terrain, but because it is the path of least
There is nothing unique about the terrain around Reeves
County, he said, it's just flat. Sforza said that the real
reason the Air Force was bringing more and more flights to
this area was that it was all privately-owned land. "The
U.S. government owns two-thirds of the Western United
States, and half of all the airspace," he said. In other
words, Sforza was saying, land exists where the Air Force
may train well away from the civilian population, but to
secure it meant going through Congress.
Citing reports from the EPA and Consumer Reports, Sforza
said, "In the U.S. now we are seeing a doubling of deaths
from asthma." The exhaust of jet engines, said Sforza,
contains fine particulate matter that can enter the blood
stream and, because the particulates are so light, may drift
on air currents for long distances. Each jet engine, Sforza
said, created the same level of pollution as about 500 cars.
Another representative of the Trans-Pecos Protection Group,
Bryan Kelley, said that he had brought three suits against
the Air Force in the federal court in Pecos to obtain
information that has been denied to him but is unclassified.
"Our analysis shows that all the flights the Air Force has
flown (in the Trans-Pecos area) since 1984 have been illegal
and in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act,"
Charging that the Air Force was also in violation of its CEQ
requirements - those that require public notification of the
scoping meetings - and that the Air Force skipped entire
towns that will be severely impacted by the proposed
airspace changes, Kelley said, "We are going to ask the
court to instruct the Air Force that all scoping meetings
must be done over. We want 23 meetings, not five . . . Only
four people showed up at the Van Horn meeting. It will be
unlivable there by 2005."
At this point one attendee came to the front of the room,
Jeff Davis County farmer Larry Turnbough, and addressed the
group in support of the initiative. "My dad flew 35 missions
in Korea and my brother flew 77 in Viet-Nam. I am very
appreciative that they were trained well and survived," he
said. "If you are against this you need to have your own
reasons, not false ones." He charged that the Trans-Pecos
Protection Group was supplying false information.
Turnbough said that the real cause of pollution around
Balmorhea was not the jet aircraft but cars and trucks on
Interstate 20, and in the Davis mountains the bulk of the
pollution was caused by people burning fires in their homes.
Suzanna Dominguez, a life-long resident of Saragosa, said
that the jets already flying over Saragosa were very loud
and frightened her and her children. If the low-altitude
bomber training came to Saragosa, Dominguez said, she
wouldn't be able to sleep.
The U.S. Air Force's proposed Realistic Bomber Training
Initiative would create new military airspace across
northern Reeves, southern Loving and central Ward counties
and redefine current military airspace as "low-altitude."
This low-altitude space would be strung with 12 electronic
scoring sites that would sweep from south-eastern Reeves
near Smithers Test Track, through the Saragosa/Verhalen area
before exiting into Culberson County from central Reeves
near China Draw.
The public comment period on the proposal lasts until Feb.
Deputy moves to drug investigator
By CARA ALLIGOOD
PECOS, February 9, 1998 - Seeing drug dealers in court gives
Jeffery Baeza a sense of job satisfaction. Baeza been
assigned the position of narcotics investigator vacated by
Clay McKinney when McKinney was hired as Pecos Police Chief
Baeza was a Reeves County Sheriff's deputy before joining
the narcotics team. He has 12 years of law enforcement
experience and graduated from the Odessa College Police
Academy in 1990. Baeza has 90 college credit hours toward a
Bachelor's degree in criminal justice at Sul Ross State
Baeza has prior experience in narcotics investigation and is
dedicated to getting drugs off the streets.
"I've worked under cover before. I've worked with these guys
before, and when Clay left, the Sheriff (Arnulfo Gomez)
decided to put me over here," Baeza said.
"I really enjoy it," Baeza said of his new appointment. "I'm
glad to be over here."
Baeza said that the toughest part of working narcotics is
executing search warrants at homes where there are young
children present. "They're crying and they're innocent," he
"I stand totally against drugs and I want to aggressively
pursue fighting the war on drugs," Baeza said. "It (drug
abuse) destroys families and ruins lives."
He said that he has seen some cases where people have become
rehabilitated after serving sentences for drug crimes.
Baeza said that the most rewarding part of his job is
"seeing known drug dealers get their day in court."
He is happy with the level of cooperation between his office
and the district attorney, Randy Reynolds.
"I feel that Mr. Reynolds and his staff put forth a lot of
effort and are doing a great job" of taking narcotics cases
to court, Baeza said. "He backs us 100 percent and he knows
what we're doing."
Baeza said that his goal is to "continue the good work
that's always been done out of this office."
He also wanted to give credit to all of the members of the
local SWAT team, who "always have to go into houses first"
when his office executes a search warrant. "They all
volunteered for a job that requires extra training and they
get called into work on their days off," Baeza said.
Baeza and his wife, Marybell, have three daughters, Tiffany,
15, Brittany, 10, and Esmerelda, 5. He said that in his
off-duty time, he enjoys playing golf and watching sports on
Candidates expenses revealed in finance reports
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, February 9, 1998 - Most candidates in the March 10
Democratic Primary Election have returned their Candidates
and Office Holders Campaing Finance Report on time, several
candidates returned the forms late, and one failed to return
a form at all.
On three separate occasions before the primary election most
candidates are required to complete a financial disclosure
that details the contributions to each candidate's campaign
efforts and how much money the candidate has spent on their
The first report for candidates was due Jan. 15 and was to
cover campaign expenditures up to Dec. 31, 1997.
In the race for the position of District Clerk, both
Catalina "Kathy" Ybarra and Rosemary Chabarria are not
required to return finance reports until the Feb. 9 deadline
because they did not file a campaign treasurer report until
after Jan. 1. Incumbent Juana Jaquez filled out and returned
the form, but did so six days late.
Incumbent County Clerk Diane O. Florez returned her form on
time, with $60 listed for advertising. Her only opponent,
January entrant Kristina K. Talamantez, will file her first
disclosure on Feb. 9.
By far the biggest campaign spender, Reeves County Judge
Jimmy Galindo returned his form 12 days late on Jan. 27.
According to Galindo's figures, he has spent more than
$3,000 on his campaign so far. A $600 Democratic Party
filing fee and nearly $2,000 to Allied Advertising made up
most of his expenses.
When asked about his expenditures, Galindo responded, "As a
candidate I take every race seriously and work very hard
until the end."
Galindo blamed the tardy dislosure form on a
miscommunication between himself and Reeves County
Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Dean, suggesting that Dean
caused more disruption in the Democratic party than unity.
Linda Gholson, the only other candidate for county judge,
has spent half as much as her opponent. Gholson listed
$1,512 -$1,000 of which went to Fast Signs in Midland -in
campaign expenditures. She has also paid the $600 Democratic
Party filing fee. Her form was returned on time.
Both the candidates for county treasurer, incumbent Linda
Clark and Terry Terrazas, returned their forms on time.
Neither has campaign related expenditures.
David Castillo, who is unchallenged for Precinct 2 County
Commissioner, filed two days early.
In the three-way race for Precinct 4 County Commissioner
-involving incumbent Bernardo Martinez, Gilbert Rayos and
Mari Maldonado -both Martinez and Rayos met or preceded the
deadline, and Maldonado chose a one-time "modified
According to Texas Ethic Commission's guidelines, each
candidate may file a modified reporting. This is a one-time
report declaring the candidate did not intend to accept more
than $500 in contributions or spend more than that amount on
Maldonado said she was "nowhere near" that amount.
Martinez has already spent more than $1,000 on his campaign
for advertising, stamps and gasoline. Rayos has spent half
that amount for, among other things, campaign cards and
Both County Court-at-law Judge Lee Green and County Surveyor
Frank Spencer filed seven days late. Spencer chose to file a
modified reporting. Both are unopposed with no campaign
Unopposed Justice of the Peace, Amonario Ramon (Precinct 1)
and Lamberto Herrera (Precinct 4), both filed two days early.
Incumbent Justice J.T. Marsh of Precinct 2 returned his form
three days early and has spent no money on his campaign. His
challenger Wesley Harpham returned his form 11 days late.
Harpham has spent more than $700 so far, at least $230 went
to a sign company in Kermit.
Harmpham said his form was late because he never recieved
one in the mail and had to go and get one personally.
The four-way contest for Precinct 3 J.P.-involving incumbent
Joel Madrid, Rosendo Carrasco, David Vejil and Janelle Ward
-has seen no money spent by any of the candidates. All but
Ward, who filed to run on Dec. 29, returned their forms.
The next Campaign Finance Report is due to be turned in at
the County Clerk's office by today at 5 p.m. A third report
will be due eight days before the election on March 2.
Most of 38 federal defendants indicted for drug charges
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Guilty pleas clear criminal cases
BY PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, February 9, 1998 - District Judge Bob Parks presided
for multiple jury selections today and scheduled one civil
trial to begin tomorrow in 143rd District Court.
Friday's guilty pleas cleared several criminal cases that
were set for trial on drug violation charges.
Pleading guilty to delivery of cocaine were:
* Felipe Amarillas Caboda, six years deferred adjudication
probation, plus a $1,500 fine and $140 restitution to the
Departmet of Public Safety.
* Alonzo Dutchover Mendoza, four years community
supervision, $1,500 fine and $164.50 court costs.
* Dulces Nombres Matta, four years deferred adjudication,
$1,500 fine and $140 restitution to the Departmet of Public
Francisco Herrera Perez, four years deferred adjudication
probation, $500 fine ad $140 restitution to the Departmet of
Gilbert R. Ortega admitted delivery of a simulated
controlled substance -heroin. He was sentenced to four years
community supervision, $1,500 fine and $164.50 court costs.
Jose Manuel Garcia pleaded guilty to delivery of heroin and
was placed on two years community supervision with a $1,500
Rafael Valles Medina admitted possession of cocaie ad was
placed on four years community supervision with a $1,500
fine and $164.50 court costs.
Balmorhea ISD board meets tomorrow
PECOS, February 9, 1998 - A senior class trip will be
discussed during the regular meeting of the Balmorhea
Independent School District Board meeting at 6:30 p.m.
tomorrow in the board room at 1st and El Paso streets in
Other items on the agenda include an order for the elections
and appointment of early voting clerks. The group will also
discuss appointing an election judge and alternate.
Reports will be heard from a grassroots meeting, given by
The board will meet in closed session to discuss personnel,
employment, resignations, assignments, evaluation,
reassignment, duties and or discipline and also to discuss
the superintendents evaluation.
They will reconvene in open session and take any action
based upon discussion in closed meeting.
February 9, 1998
The Fort Stockton Pioneer
FORT STOCKTON, Feb. 5, 1998 -A lawsuit filed against Pecos
County and two state district judges by former county
auditor Bettye Warnock ended abruptly Tuesday morning with
the announcement of an agreement between the two parties.
The case was being heard this week in Judge Lucius Bunton's
federal district court in Pecos.
The Big Bend Sentinel
MARFA, Feb. 5, 1998 - Area residents attending a U.S. Air
Force meeting in Alpine should be aware of a low-level
training flight accident in Italy Tuesday that claimed at
least 20 civilian lives, an Alpine activist said Wednesday.
A U.S. Marine EA-6B Prowler aircraft sliced a cable-car line
in the Italian Alps, sending a gondola full of European
skiers crashing hundreds of feet to their deaths, according
to news reports.
The Alpine Avalanche
ALPINE, Feb. 5, 1998 -A fine clear day last Saturday brought
out a lively crowd of around 600 to accept their invitations
to an Open House' celebrating the new Hobby-Eberly
Telescope (HET) at the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis.
The HET was officially dedicated on Oct. 8, but this was an
occasion for West Texas neighbors to visit with their newest
Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Feb. 5, 1998 -Gregory M.
Schwab, associate professor of theatre at Sul Ross State
University, has been named 1998 College/University Educator
of the Year by the Texas Educational Theatre Association.
Schwab received the honor at the association's awards
banquet Jan. 24.
The Sanderson Times
SANDERSON, Feb. 5, 1998 -Terrell County school district has
received a grant in the amount of $100,000 from the
Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board. This is the
third round of TIF grants, each designed to provide public
schools with the necessary equipment to allow students
access to the Internet. This third round was a
non-competitive award process designed to level the playing
field across the state, with a cap on each award of
$100,000. TIF awarded more than 600 grants to individual
districts or campuses within districts.
The McCamey News
McCamey, Upton County, Feb. 5, 1998 - Twenty-two 4-H members
from Upton County will be joining other 4-H and FFA members
from throughout Texas for intense show ring competition at
the upcoming Houston Livestock Show, Feb. 20 through March
8, in the Astrohall. These FFA and 4-H exhibitors showcase
their animal projects during the second week of livestock
competition - the junior show.
Iraan, Pecos County, Feb. 5, 1998 - Cody Dulaney, Pecos
The Monahans News
MONAHANS, Feb. 5, 1998 -Monahans citizens have started a
major drive to bring Boys and Girls Clubs to the Monahans
area with the help of a potential $50,000 grant through the
Boys and Girls Clubs of America national organization. Under
the plan, the Monahans club would operate as a unit of the
Midland Boys and Girls Clubs, reports Bill Shuey, the youth
organization's executive director in Midland.
February 9, 1998
Mary Shultz, 80, died Saturday, Feb. 7, 1998, at Odessa
Services are scheduled for 10 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 11, at
the Pecos Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Les Woodard
officiating. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery.
Shultz was born May 5, 1917, in Floyadada, Tx. She was a
resident of Pecos since 1945, a retired secretary from the
Texas Highway Department and a Baptist.
Survivors include: one son, Joe S. Shultz of Lufkin, Tx.;
two nieces; and two nephews.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Services for John Rial Truss, Jr., who died Friday, Feb. 6,
1998, are incomplete.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, February 9, 1998 - High Sunday, 74, low this morning,
44. Southerly winds with above-normal seasonal temperatures
are expected across Texas as the result of a surface
low-pressure system extending from South Dakota almost into
Texas.Pre-dawn temperatures ranged from 37 at Junction to 68
at McAllen in South Texas, from 39 at Dalhart and Amarillo
to 55 at Midland in West Texas, and from 37 at Waco to 55 at
Lufkin in the eastern half of the state. Winds could kick up
in West Texas, gusting to 30 mph in the El Paso area.
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